17-year-old Ben Williams from Vacy, 16-year-old Theo Atkins from Aberglasslyn and 14-year-old Sam Ostrowski from Ashtonfield have were selected to participate in Northern NSW Football’s (NNSWF) Talented Official Program (TOP) Camp.
Sixteen young match officials, 18 years of age or under, were chosen from across all of Northern NSW to take part at the Camp, which was held in conjunction with the annual Telstra State SAP Championships in Coffs Harbour across the June long weekend.
Over the three-day weekend, they officiated the Championships whilst experiencing specialised coaching and assessments on their performances as referees, assistant referees and as fourth officials.
NNSWF Senior Officer, Match Official Administration and Development Brad Carlin was excited to see the upcoming talented match officials officiate at such a level.
“It is pleasing to see talented young referees coming through our match official ranks.
“These young referees were chosen by their respective Zones and Referee Branches as they showed obvious talent and the capacity to develop along the pathway right to the highest levels of officiating.”
“Opportunities such as the TOP Camp will allow them to grow and develop their skills alongside other talented young match officials whilst being coached by experienced referee coaches,” Mr Carlin concluded.
Match Officials who attended the camp were assessed in each match during the Telstra State SAP Championships and will participate in a debrief session with assessors at the end of each game to review their performance and identify key focus areas for them to work on.
Group coaching and development sessions activities were facilitated by experienced assessors and coaches including Luke Mackney from Football Far North Coast and Newcastle based match officials Stephen Laurie, James Cleal, Jake Southward and Brad Carlin.
As a further initiative, two young referees from the TOP camp were recognised as the ‘Referee of the Tournament’. Isaac Peachey, from Football Far North Coast Referees was named the 11 Years Match Official Champion and Sam Charlier from NNSWF Referees as the 12 Years Champion.